Thursday, June 9, 2011

Alumni profile

Dunbar Carpenter
REU '07 and '09

Mentors: Kristina Stinson, David Foster, Jonathan Thompson
Project: Landscape-scale Ecological Drivers of Alliaria Petiolata Invasion in Western Massachusetts  (2007); Biomass Energy and a Changing Forest Landscape: Modeling the Effects of Intensified Harvesting of Massachusetts' Forests for Biomass Energy Production (2009)

Hometown: Portland, OR
College and major: Harvard College, class of 2008, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

What you miss most about the REU program:
Being at Harvard Forest surrounded by great peers and scientists. Working closely with mentors. The exposure to a wide range of ecological research.

What you miss least about the REU program:
Petersham, while charming, can be a bit isolating.

What about the REU program has stuck with you:
A lot - learning about the scientific process, the tedious and hard work necessary for scientific learning and discovery, many of this skills involved in field work and analyzing data, and scientific collaborations.

Have you stayed in touch with other REU students?

Did your REU experience support or change your school/career plans?
My first summer in the program opened my eyes to the world of environmental science and ecological research. The following year I got a bit academically burnt out, but when I came back for another summer I had a great experience and it confirmed to me that I wanted to continue in ecology.

What are you up to now?
This summer I'm working as a field assistant at the Teakettle Ecosystem Experiment in the Sierras in California. In fall 2011 I'm starting a masters in forest ecology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Eventually I would like to be doing applied research and education in forest landscape ecology.

Want to see more alumni profiles? Check out our Harvard Forest REU alumni blog.

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